Turritopsis dohrnii (Photo Credit : Wikimedia Commons Author : Bachware)
Will the immortal jellyfish take over the Oceans?
The Turritopsis Dohrnii Jellyfish is believed to be potentially immortal. Its exists in two states, breeds in two ways and has a trick up its sleeve. The jellyfish state is called the medusae phase. In this phase the males eject sperm that fertilises the eggs of females. Once fertilised the eggs form polyps which fall to the bottom of the sea. Down in the depths the polyps mature and grow into stacks. They can also reproduce asexually by budding themselves.
The stacks slowly separate into individual immature jellyfish and break free from the top of the stack when they are strong enough. This process is common to most jellyfish.
The trick with the Turritopsis Dohrnii Jellyfish is that after completing its breeding function it has another trick.
Instead of declining and dying like most jellyfish Turritopsis Dohrnii can revert to a polyp and sink back down to the bottom of the sea and carry on reproducing itself asexually. So it could be the same jellyfish over and over again!
There are species of jellyfish living in all the Oceans including the Arctic and Antarctic waters. Luckily the Turritopsis Dohrnii has predators and is restricted by being unable to survive in colder waters.
The problem is, how hot do we make the Oceans!?
For more details see Wikipedia Turritopsis Dohrnii Jellyfish.